Jacquie Ottman's
Green Marketing Blog

Green, No…Greener, Maybe

You'd never know it reading the press kits, but there's actually no such thing as a green product. All products use resources and create waste to some extent. At best, there are "greener" products that have less environmental impact than others. If you're mindful of a potential green backlash (and you should be!), develop your sustainability message with this in mind.

Are you reading this, Mercedes-Benz? I hope so. That "clean-air blue" motif is cutting it a bit fine. I read somewhere that Toyota's ad agency once presented them with a Prius ad featuring the hybrid vehicle juxtaposed against a clear blue sky. The image must have been too green for comfort — word is, it was rejected out of hand. We'll see how the blue-sky strategy plays out for you.

The Toyota Prius and Greener Marketing Strategy

Toyota has developed a strong relationship with its hybrid buyers by emphasizing environmental performance relative to standard combustion-engine vehicles in the same class. "Green," no — the cars still burn fuel. "Greener," yes — and consumers respect the distinction.

All those consumer surveys calling companies' environmental claims into question should really tell you something here. Instead of focusing on how green your products might be, highlight ways in which consumers using them might be greener — in other words, educate on how consumers can reduce their environmental footprint by using your products.

Toyota prius, sustainable marketing, sustainable consulting, green consulting, environmental marketing

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